New Delhi: In a bid to ensure free and fair elections and curb the use of money power, the Election Commission has disqualified as many as 2,171 candidates for failing to furnish details of expenditure incurred while contesting parliamentary and assembly polls.
These candidates will face the bar for three years from the date of disqualification by the Commission, with the maximum being up to January 2016.
The move is part of the poll body's measures to bring in financial transparency and propriety in the conduct of elections which forms the larger part of electoral reforms process.
While Maharashtra tops the list with 260 disqualified candidates, it is followed by Chhattisgarh 259 candidates. They are followed by Haryana with 197 candidates, Odisha 188 and Madhya Pradesh 179.
Uttar Pradesh has 159 candidates disqualified. Jharkhand has 118 candidates and Tamil Nadu 97.
Among the Parliamentary constituencies, Uttar Pradesh has a maximum of 158 candidates debarred from contesting, while Chhattisgarh has the maximum of 240 debarred candidates when it comes to State Legislative Assemblies.
All these candidates were disqualified under Section 8A read with 11 (A) (2) and 10A of Representation of the People Act, 1951, for failing to submit their poll expenditure accounts within the stipulated 30-day period from the date of announcement of results.
While most such candidates are non-serious candidates, some candidates had filed their returns within the stipulated 30-day period but those were not found in proper order and thus stood disqualified.
The Commission has sent the list of all such barred candidates to Chief Electoral Officers for further sending such names to the respective Returning Officers. Earlier, it had disqualified as many as 3,275 contestants in September 2009.